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Love Wins – a cultural commentary

An early anecdote recorded in Rob Bell’s controversial book, Love Wins, is of an art exhibit hosted at Bell’s church. A member of the church made a painting that incorporated quotes by Gandhi that as moving to other members of the church. Bell really appreciated it, but he didn’t appreciate that later on another church member affixed a note reading, “Too bad he’s going to burn in Hell.” Bell’s book is a response to people who praise the exclusivity of heaven and make it a point to judge people openly.

And in reflecting on this, I realize that the book isn’t just about how poorly behaved some Christians can be. This is a commentary on our culture in general. Read the rest of this entry

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The Public Domain

It is not uncommon these days to be curious about copyright laws and how they became the creature they are today. Not a month goes by without the mention of another lawsuit about someone breaking copyright law, either by copious downloading of material on the internet or by direct reference in something recorded and published. Copyright appears to be this limiting force that somehow costs people thousands of dollars. Honestly, that is all I really knew of copyrights – aside from the obvious “I own the rights to the work, so profits for original sales should go to me.”

Then I discovered James Boyle’s The Public Domain, which he has fittingly offered up for free download. The book is not the complete history of copyright law that I sought. Instead it was an overall easy read about the idea of copyright as well as its evolution to what it is today. It is also a commentary on what it should be. Read the rest of this entry

Modern Mythology

As of late I have been on an interesting journey into what can be called modern mythology. A friend of mine is teaching a college English course, and she wants the students to consider looking at comic books and other articles of pop culture interest as the modern mythology of our lives. Since she has a lesser understanding of comic books than I do, she asked me for suggestions about what characters and books would be considered a modern mythology. Right now I have her working on a definition of modern mythology before we delve into things. From another direction, a friend of mine commented to me directly about my post about Jackpot, explaining to me that the vigilante archetype has been a member of the American monomyth for quite some time – and then she gave me book recommendations. I am currently waiting for the library to deliver those books, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The American Monomyth, so that I can really get into what it all is. However, a few months ago I picked up a book by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers called The Power of Myth, which is a collection of conversations between the two scholars about the meaning of symbols and the workings of Campbell’s mind months before his death.

"Myth helps you to put your mind in touch with the experience of being alive. It tells you what the experience is."

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